Save for that dream getaway
According to USA Today, 6 in 10 people polled by Gallup in 2011 said it was important for them to get away from home during the year. This makes sense: vacations, whether large or small, often help relieve stress, keep families happy, create bonding experiences and improve health. They allow travelers to reminisce and even increase knowledge.
If you want to help minimize expenses and create a vacation experience you can actually afford, it's best to start saving well in advance of your trip. Not only will this create a pool of funds that you can use without guilt, but it also will allow you to earn a little interest on the deposits. Here are three steps to make your vacation planning easier:
- Budget for the trip. It's a good idea to determine your budget for the trip so that you have a goal for how much to save. Factor in the costs of transportation to your destination and around the area, plus hotel, food, entertainment and all other expenses.
- Open a special savings account. Next, you can open up a new savings account for your vacation funds. While this step is not necessary, having a separate account is a great way to keep yourself from commingling vacation funds with other cash and accidentally spending it; it also helps to keep the interest separate. Just make sure that either you open a no-minimum account when saving from scratch or your initial deposit at least meets the balance requirement.
- Work on a plan to save outside your normal savings. Once you know how much you'll need, and you have a special account for your savings, you can look at your budget and determine how much you can afford to save every month. It's important that saving for a vacation does not interrupt the contributions you make toward other long-term goals, such as retirement. Your budget will determine how soon you can take the vacation.